OT - Houghton/UP disaster and tragedy relief

Submitted by Red_Lee on June 20th, 2018 at 2:01 PM

Devastating floods hit the Houghton area over the weekend. Damaged roadways and buildings caused Snyder to declare a disaster. Anyone who's been to that part of the UP knows that there are only so many roads in and out of there, making recovery more difficult.


Then tragic news came out yesterday - 12 year old Thatcher Markham, who had been transported to our beloved Motts for injuries he sustained during the flood, passed away. His own father had pulled him out of the collapsed basement and performed CPR.


Right now, a lot of relief agencies are asking for clean-up supplies like rakes, shovels, buckets, gloves and volunteer time. I'm hoping to make it up there Saturday but my wife is 2 weeks away from the due date of our first child. At least one guy from my fire dept (Negaunee) is going.

If any of you guys can help, it would be greatly appreciated. 906-233-6621 or there are gofundme sites:


For the family of Thatcher Markham:


As a bonus, if any of you make the trek I'll gladly buy you a UP beer of your choice (or maple syrup if you don't drink). 


Lou MacAdoo

June 20th, 2018 at 2:08 PM ^

I can't imagine what that Dad is going through. Heartbreaking. Good luck with the relief efforts and hopefully there's no further tragedy. I imagine this is going to do a number on all of those dirt roads up there.

Naked Bootlegger

June 20th, 2018 at 2:09 PM ^

That was an epic, historic flooding event.   I appreciate this call to lend support, either financially or with your hands.   

It looks like the main highway artery (US 41) is passable, but plenty of bridges out on local roads.    I hope this region gets the support that is needed to make quick repairs before winter sets in.

Naked Bootlegger

June 20th, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

The construction season is so contracted in the U.P.   Seriously, snow can legally fall any time after mid-September.   It's incomprehensible how some of these bridges could be repaired during the current warm season.  

Also, warning to the ATV/ORV community:  many recreational trails are closed due to washouts.  Very dangerous conditions from Houghton to Calumet on some trails.   Most boating on local waters and beaches are also closed for the time being.   This news really stinks during the peak summer tourist season.    Tourism is top dog up here, so I really hope the infrastructure gets fixed soon.   I can't imagine if the some of the main snowmobile trails are out this winter.


June 20th, 2018 at 6:27 PM ^

The photos and videos of washed out roads and sinkholes were unreal and saddening. I work with a few people who have family connections to that part of the UP and some of them have already been up there doing what they can for their families .


June 20th, 2018 at 6:40 PM ^

We had a very similar event in Duluth six years ago. Pretty rough stuff, and while most things were fixed within a year, the last major project to repair the damage was only finished last year.

Northern Wisconsin was also smacked pretty hard by the same system. It's pretty wild out there. Not as bad as Houghton, but crazy nonetheless.